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Here Today…

It’s Friday Fictioneers time, hosted by Rochelle.

I haven’t felt very well the last couple of days and couldn’t come up with anything cleverly witty, but I finally put something together. This week’s photo comes from Jennifer Pendergast.

To read all the other stories for this week, click on the blue froggy.


Jennifer Pendergast

Copyright Jennifer Pendergast

 

Bartholomew stared out across the desert, watching it shimmer in the heat. Seemingly barren, he knew it teemed with life. Such rugged beauty, stretching endlessly into the distance, a primitive land where only the strong could survive.

He reached into his backpack and retrieved his camera, snapping off a shot. “Desert framed by Railway Carriage” would look good on his wall, he thought.

Finally tearing his gaze from the awe-inspiring sight, he motioned with his hand. The sides of the carriages dropped, disgorging trucks, bulldozers, all manner of equipment.

The desert’s all very well, he thought, but everybody loves a mall.

 

  1. April 8, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Nature — and developers — abhor a vacuum. Feel better!

    Like

    • April 9, 2015 at 6:48 am

      Soon there’ll be cars and teenagers hanging round, the whole shebang 😦
      Thanks!

      Like

  2. April 8, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    There’s no stopping progress. :/

    Like

  3. NotAPunkRocker
    April 8, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    One person’s oasis is another person’s shopping destination :/

    Sorry you aren’t feeling well, hope you feel better soon.

    Like

  4. April 8, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Hope you feel better soon.
    Hmmm, I don’t like the heat, but I don’t like malls either…but I love trains. 🙂
    Take care, hope you make a full and speedy recovery. 🙂

    Like

    • April 9, 2015 at 6:49 am

      I like trains and the idea of a desert but I don’t do well in the heat!
      I’m a bit better today, thanks 🙂

      Like

  5. April 8, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Hope your better soon, although your stories with a message are poignant. Funny how our mood affects our writing like it does.

    Like

    • April 9, 2015 at 6:51 am

      Yes, I’ve noticed how I feel dictates whether it’s a comedy or whatever.
      Glad you liked my story.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. April 8, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Please ask him to pack up…I prefer the desert….Nice one.

    Like

    • April 9, 2015 at 6:51 am

      Me too. Maybe he’ll go bust before he does too much damage.
      Glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. April 8, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    A fantastic take on the prompt, loved it. Say no to the shopping mall, it was a great ending 🙂

    Like

    • April 9, 2015 at 6:52 am

      Glad you liked it! There are enough shopping centres and not enough nature.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. April 8, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    Oh! this is perfect. No need to apologize. That last line caught me off guard.

    Like

    • April 9, 2015 at 6:53 am

      He won’t let anything get in the way of his bank balance. I’m glad you liked it!

      Like

  9. Lyn
    April 9, 2015 at 3:28 am

    At least he took a photo for posterity. Now he’ll work towards prosperity, but I hope he gets kicked in his posterior(y) 😀 Great zinger at the end D-Man

    Like

    • April 9, 2015 at 6:56 am

      Ha, nice play on words 🙂
      Yeah, at least he has a photo to remind him what he’s spoiled.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Lata Sunil
    April 9, 2015 at 3:39 am

    Malls are instant happiness.. yeah.. and i guess, we are losing touch with nature.

    Like

    • April 9, 2015 at 6:57 am

      I’m hoping it all falls through and he leaves the desert alone.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. April 9, 2015 at 5:06 am

    You are right and especially for teenagers – you can’t stop them from going to the mall! Good story! Nan

    Like

    • April 9, 2015 at 6:58 am

      I’m sure the kids are very excited a new shopping centre is on the way! I wouldn’t be 😦

      Like

  12. April 9, 2015 at 6:34 am

    Oh I love the hypocrisy of him! Nice one. Hope you’re feeling better now.

    Like

    • April 9, 2015 at 6:59 am

      He’s very much “oh, look at how beautiful it is, now dig it up” isn’t he? Glad you liked it!
      I’m a bit better today, thanks 🙂

      Like

  13. April 9, 2015 at 7:20 am

    I hope you get well quickly, Ali. Your story shows your great regard for nature. Contractors only seem to see the money. They dig up, build, and move on. The worst are the ones who build buildings that don’t have proper support and fall down on people’s heads. Well done. — Suzanne

    Like

    • April 9, 2015 at 11:59 am

      I understand the need for new houses and the like, but nature needs protecting too. I’m sure we have more than enough shopping centres.

      Like

  14. April 9, 2015 at 10:40 am

    HaHa! What a surprising twist. Feel better soon! 😀
    ps. We are fighting off ‘developers” periodically here too.

    Like

    • April 9, 2015 at 11:59 am

      Glad you liked my story! I think I’m a little better today 🙂

      Like

  15. April 9, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    That had me chuckle at the end. The nerve, to look for the best spot for a picture, and then to dg it all up. Great take on the prompt, too. And, I hope you feel better soon.

    Like

    • April 9, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      I bet he puts a “before and after” picture on his wall too. Here’s the desert and then here’s my wonderful shopping centre.
      I’m a bit better today, thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. April 9, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Malls are steadily vanishing from America, often bankrupted. But maybe we’ll get a few mall speculators sealed into their own parking cement, before they’re all gone.

    Like

    • April 9, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      Now I have an image of them up to their waists in cement frantically waving their arms around while people stand around and laugh 🙂

      Like

  17. April 9, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    What a perfect place for a new Mecca!

    Like

  18. April 9, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Well done, especially considering yiu are under the weather. I’m envious–I’m not that creative when I’m sick!

    Like

    • April 9, 2015 at 6:18 pm

      I’m glad you liked it! I was beginning to despair when suddenly this eco-story popped into my head 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. April 9, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    cleverly written as could be expected from you. but get well soon. 🙂

    Like

    • April 10, 2015 at 6:29 am

      Thanks!
      I’m starting to feel better now, thanks. Just a bit of a cold, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. April 10, 2015 at 4:19 am

    I’m so sick and tired of over development and this sort of greed. Grrrrr… Next we’ll have malls floating on water? Or has that been done.
    Really liked this one, doc. I hope you’re feeling better soon
    Ellespeth

    Like

    • April 10, 2015 at 6:29 am

      I wouldn’t be surprised if some old ships get converted into shopping centres. I think some have become casinos in the past.
      I’m a bit better today, thanks! Definitely on the mend.

      Like

  21. April 10, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Great story. Developers are always cutting down trees to build shops or apartments. 😦

    Like

    • April 10, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      Indeed they are. There should be more protection.

      Like

  22. April 10, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Sorry to hear you were ill, but this one was definitely worth holding out for. I love the flip in character there. Good stuff!

    Like

    • April 10, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      Thanks, I’m glad you liked it. He’s not going to let anything get in the way of his bank balance, no matter how lovely he thinks it is.

      Like

  23. April 10, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    So he got the last shot before he destroyed it all. If only he truly understood.

    Like

    • April 10, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      I don’t think he ever will. What’s he going to do with the photo? Proudly proclaim at a dinner party “look, I destroyed that”?

      Like

      • April 15, 2015 at 1:29 pm

        That’s how some people think. But it wold be nice if he came to his senses and became an advocate.

        Like

      • April 15, 2015 at 2:44 pm

        It would.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. April 10, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Didn’t see that coming – a story in two parts. I love his name. Put me off the scent completely for some reason.
    He could sell the final picture at the poster shop in the mall.

    Like

    • April 10, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      He should really have had a more hard-core name. Like “Brett Masterson” or something. I can totally see Brett Masterson destroying the desert.
      That’s a good idea for the photo. “How it used to look…”

      Like

  25. April 10, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Great story! Even though he is awe-inspired he won’t let it get in the way of ‘progress’. Sad but true, unfortunately. Hope you’re feeling better. 🙂

    Like

    • April 10, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      Money’s the bottom line for him, sadly.
      I’m a bit better today, thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  26. April 10, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Oh, I hope it’s an inside mall with air conditioning. All that life is going to have find a new home, probably. Here I thought he cared! This is really a two-part story. Well done, Ali. I hope you’re feeling better soon.

    Like

    • April 10, 2015 at 5:56 pm

      It’ll definitely be air-conditioned, given its location. I think all that life would rather he left the desert alone, though. He appreciates beauty but only cares about money 😦
      I’m a lot better today, thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  27. April 10, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Excellent! That last line put a real smile on my face — I couldn’t see that twist coming at all. 🙂

    Like

    • April 10, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      I’m glad you liked it! I thought I’d start the story by making him seem like such a nice chap…

      Like

  28. April 10, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    What a lovely creative piece of writing! I’m really impressed. That first paragraph is excellent, as is the overall message. Progress stops for no man – or desert landscape! Hope you’re feeling better now. You did brilliantly to write this when you were ill. 🙂

    Like

    • April 10, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      Thank you for such a lovely comment 🙂
      Some people look at a natural environment and all they see is profit. Bartholomew seems to see both but prioritises the profit.
      I’m feeling much better today, thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 10, 2015 at 8:17 pm

        Glad to hear that. Take care.

        Like

  29. April 10, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Dear Draliman,

    I hesitate to ‘like’ this story lest my energy contribute to another desert being blighted by a mall, but it was funny and good and in reality, i loved it.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Like

    • April 11, 2015 at 8:39 am

      Dear Doug,
      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I think the world has enough shopping centres now. It’s time to look after the open spaces we have left.
      Ali

      Like

  30. April 11, 2015 at 3:41 am

    Great story Ali! And the beautiful desert has to suffer for the mall.

    Like

  31. April 11, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Good story and your twist is always intelligent.
    I agree about cutting down trees to build with all the abandoned buildings they could tear down but not the desert. Our deserts here are really vast, as in huge.
    I told you I’ve four wheeled through the desert, amazing but very scary.
    A person lost off trail usually is not found.

    Like

    • April 11, 2015 at 8:44 am

      Living in the UK, it’s difficult for me to imagine an open space that vast. Obviously we have large stretches of moorland where people can disappear (until the search parties find them) but nothing on the scale of the deserts in the US and elsewhere (or as dangerous).

      Like

      • April 12, 2015 at 3:34 am

        I’ve always known about our desert’s, parents drove through it on family vacations and I saw.
        Until the week long jeep tour through the upper, lower deserts and foothills I had no idea of the vastness. What surprised me was the homesteads around a hill that had well water. No we never asked for water, drove very slow as to not disturb the dweller. Crazy people live back there. Really!!
        Info just for you, ha.

        Like

      • April 12, 2015 at 4:59 am

        I guess it takes a certain sort of person to choose to live out away from everything in the middle of nowhere. Sounds kind of peaceful, though.

        Like

  32. April 11, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Hope you’re feeling better soon!

    Sad that this vision is a reality for lots of beautiful spaces nowadays. Hope we don’t turn them all into photo memories!

    Like

    • April 12, 2015 at 4:55 am

      I hope not too. We have precious few left here in England.

      Like

      • April 12, 2015 at 2:09 pm

        The US still has a good bit of open space. I pray it lasts.

        Like

      • April 12, 2015 at 2:37 pm

        Me too.

        Like

  33. Francesca Smith
    April 11, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    So much truth in this! Although in the UK, it’s anything that resembles an open green space.
    Another great story, and get well soon!

    Like

    • April 12, 2015 at 4:57 am

      I just worry that in a hundred years “green belt land” will be exactly that – little strips all that are left.
      Glad you liked it, and I’m feeling much better now, thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  34. April 12, 2015 at 1:53 am

    Draliman… you are too funny. Loved it.
    Randy

    Like

  35. April 12, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Dear Ali,

    I hope you’re feeling better.

    Your story’s so true of today’s shifting landscape. I’ve seen them come and go here, the mall’s I mean. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

    • April 12, 2015 at 9:50 am

      Dear Rochelle,
      Me too. Unfortunately when they go we’re left with a dilapidated building rather than the original nature.
      I’m feeling better now, thanks!
      Ali

      Like

  36. April 12, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    What a good story! He seems so appreciative of the natural scene, and then with a gesture he begins to destroy it. Sorry you’ve been unwell – and glad you’re on the mend.

    Like

    • April 13, 2015 at 7:08 am

      Nothing gets in the way of his bank balance, even though he thought it was a lovely scene.
      Thanks for your well wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

  37. April 13, 2015 at 1:17 am

    Get well soon… But even sick… you pulled it off. As the kids would say… “Whata sick twist to that prompt!” You’re right… I shouldn’t have…

    Like

  38. April 13, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Love that last line! Hope you are feeling better.

    Like

    • April 13, 2015 at 9:29 am

      Thanks, glad you liked it!
      Yes, I’m a bit better this week. I’m putting any lingering issues down to Monday morning blues 🙂

      Like

  39. April 13, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Progress has a way of eating at the vistas… better capture it in pictures before it’s too late.

    Like

    • April 13, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      It does indeed. A photo’s better than nothing, I suppose. Though I’d rather have the actual desert.

      Like

  40. April 14, 2015 at 5:23 am

    Nice one, I love the twist.

    Like

  41. April 18, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    I love the surprise ending. Very clever.

    Like

    • April 19, 2015 at 5:28 am

      Thanks, I often like to pop in a twist at the end.

      Like

  42. April 25, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    I don’t love a shopping mall 😦 Give me good old Mother Nature any day! I like your thinking with this photo. Hope you’ve recovered and are fighting fit now 🙂

    Like

    • April 26, 2015 at 6:05 am

      I prefer nature to shopping malls for sure.
      I’m recovered now, thanks – slightly deaf in my left ear, but that’s a common side-effect of a certain sort of cold for me (it’s usually the right ear, mind). Very weird.

      Like

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